TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Utah State’s men’s cross country team earned its best-ever finish, while scoring five runners in the top-100, at the NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships, held Saturday morning at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
The 19th-ranked USU men scored 428 points to place 16th overall, surpassing their previous best championship finish of 27th in 2017. The Aggies finished ahead of five teams that entered the race ranked above them (No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 11 Washington, No. 9 Ole Miss, No. 18 Syracuse and No. 13 Middle Tennessee State).
Utah State was led by senior Luke Beattie, who capped off a decorated USU career by placing 49th with a time of 31:33.9.
“It was a good day for us,” Beattie said. “We fought hard in the tough conditions. The course was super wet and muddy, and the footing was very soft. We finished better than we were ranked and beat a lot of good ranked teams, so it was a good day.”
The Aggies then had four runners cross the finish line within five seconds of each other, as senior J.D. Thorne (32:01.7) placed 90th, senior James Withers (32:05.5) placed 94th, senior Adam Hendrickson (32:05.8) placed 96th and sophomore Caleb Garnica (32:06.3) placed 99th. Sophomore Roberto Porras (32:28.1) and senior Dallin Farnsworth (33:02.5) rounded out the Aggie finishers, placing 132nd and 167th, respectively.
After sitting at 20th as a team at the 5-kilometer split, the Aggies steadily moved up through the second half of the race, and jumped three spots in the final 2 kilometers.
“I could not be prouder of the guys,” said third-year USU head coach Artie Gulden. “They ran in some of the sloppiest conditions I’ve ever seen and ran so tough. To put it in basketball terms, we made the Sweet Sixteen. It’s been a wonderful season and ended on a great note at the national meet. Each race we’ve had different guys step up, and today was no different.”
The top three spots each belonged to teams from the Mountain Region, as No. 3 BYU finished first with 109 points, followed by No. 1 Northern Arizona with 163 points and No. 2 Colorado with 164 points. Iowa State senior Edwin Kurgat was the top individual finisher, winning the race with a time of 30:32.7.
With 428 points, USU finished as the top team from the Mountain West, five spots ahead of conference-mate Boise State (525 points). The Aggies were also the fourth team to finish from the Mountain Region.
Fans can follow the Utah State track & field and cross country programs at twitter.com/USUTF_XC, on Facebook at USUTrack and on Instagram at instagram.com/USUTF_XC. Aggies fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
NCAA DIVISION I CROSS COUNTRY NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nov. 23, 2019
LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course
Terre Haute, Ind.
Men’s Team Results (31 teams)
- BYU – 109
- Northern Arizona – 163
- Colorado – 164
- Iowa State – 211
- Tulsa – 243
- UTAH STATE – 428
Men’s Individual Top-5 Results: 1. Edwin Kurgat (ISU) – 30:32.7; 2. Joe Klecker (CU) – 30:37.1; 3. Conner Mantz (BYU) – 30:40.0; 4. Peter Seufer (VT) – 30:40.1; 5. Vincent Kiprop (ALA) – 30:43.5.
Utah State’s Men’s Finishers: 49. Luke Beattie – 31:33.3; 90. J.D. Thorne – 32:01.7; 94. James Withers – 32:05.5; 96. Adam Hendrickson – 32:05.8; 99. Caleb Garnica – 32:06.3; 132. Roberto Porras – 32:28.1; 167. Dallin Farnsworth – 33:02.5